BrightRidge celebrated its expanded broadband services in downtown Jonesborough last Thursday.

By ALLEN RAU

Staff Writer

[email protected]

BrightRidge announced the completion of Phase One of its $64 million investment in  broadband services around the region last Thursday at Main Street Café in downtown Jonesborough.

“Here today, in the oldest town in the state of Tennessee, we’re launching the opportunity for a 10 Gb service,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said, “The fastest speeds known out there on broadband, for this area and this town.

“I want to thank Zac (Jenkins) from Main Street Café for being that first business customer to really step forward and say, ‘Hey, I want to have BrightRidge broadband. I want to be the first person to launch this out and to use it.”

According to a BrightRidge press release, “Jonesborough becomes only the sixth area in the country with 10 Gigabit residential internet services” as well as being the first provider to “launch with 10 Gb service available to all fiber customers in its service area”.

Jenkins, owner of the Main Street Café, said he was “tickled to death to be the first (customer) for the service, and it’s been a great service … We’re just thrilled that this little town is getting the fastest internet that’s known in the world. And that’s really cool. We’re up there with places like Los Angeles, Dallas, all those big cities. And then there’s little old Jonesborough and I think that’s a really awesome thing we’re doing.”

As the first customer of BrightRidge, Main Street Café has had the new fiber internet since the March and April time period.

“We were one of their beta testers, their first testers, and there was only one time where it went out for maybe 10 minutes, and then, boom, it was back up again and we haven’t had any more problems. And that was the first couple of days. It’s been great.”

Jenkins added that because of the age of the building that holds his business, they had been unable to fully utilize their internet capabilities.

“It’s helped because it’s reliable. We’re not using a cash register … we’re using a Point of Sale, and it’s connected to the internet. So my business relies on having internet capability to be able to take credit cards. It’s just a lot better and faster.”

Jenkins also was one of the first to subscribe to the residential services, and said that it has also been reliable and he has been pleased with it.

Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest spoke at the ribbon cutting and told those gathered that BrightRidge’s broadband investment could yield positive results for many others.

“It gives Jonesborough an opportunity to attract residents who might want to work from home. Having this type of service is not going to just benefit business like Zac here at Main Street Café.

“It’s going to benefit others, we should have people searching for office spaces here. We’re excited about what high-speed internet can do for us here.”